The Desert is one of the main biomes of a Terraria world. The Surface isn't much harder than the Forest, but the Underground Desert contains unique hazards that can make it very dangerous for a new character.
It's optional to explore the Desert, but since it has more loot than regular Caverns, players prefer to explore it instead of regular biomes once they feel like their gear is good enough.
In Hardmode, the Desert will provide the materials for very good weapons that can be obtained at the very beginning of it.
The Underground Desert is extremely dangerous for a new character, since the enemies do much more damage and have higher defense than usual. Hence it is better to be very well prepared. It's recommended to explore it just before or after the Eye of Cthulhu is fought.
- At least 200 Health and 100 Mana.
- Iron/ Lead or Silver/ Tungsten are the minimum.
- Weapons made with Gold or better should be used. Bows are preferred due to the ability to kill the enemies from far away, but Broadswords can still be useful against Antlion Swarmers or Tomb Crawlers.
- If obtained, the Enchanted Sword or Arkhalis both do extremely well against all enemies.
- Piercing or explosive weapons such as Grenades or Jester's Arrows should be brought to easily kill Tomb Crawlers.
- The Gem staves are decent weapons with good stats and piercing abilities. A Sapphire Staff or Emerald Staff is the minimum.
- Mobility accessories like variants of the Cloud in a Bottle and/or Hermes Boots are highly recommended to explore and avoid enemies more easily.
- A Grappling Hook is good for the same reasons.
There isn't too much to do in the Surface Desert, but at the start of a playthrough, the Cactus armor and Cactus Sword are both very useful to begin with. However, if there is a Sandstorm the place should be left immediately, as the Angry Tumblers or other enemies can very easily kill a new character.
However, the enemies found are very dangerous:
- The most common enemy, the Antlion Charger, has massive defense, damage and knockback resistance and charges very fast at a player, so even with good weapons it is still better to avoid combat with them. Antlion Swarmers are another enemy with lower stats but the ability to fly. Due to their big size, they can both be easily stopped by quickly covering their path with blocks.
- The biggest threat are the Tomb Crawlers. They are fast, go through blocks and deal high damage on hit. They are also fairly common for a Worm enemy, so the player should always watch out for the sound of them digging. Due to their high stats they should be treated with caution even with weapons that can hit multiple segments.
- Watch for Antlion Larva. They initially appear as clusters of pulsing eggs that spawn this mob when broken by a pickaxe or weapon. These can overwhelm new players if they break an egg cluster while already fighting something else, so you should kill them when you find them.
- 1.4 introduces a new type of trap, the Rolling Cactus, that will most likely kill you if it collided with. It sits stationary until activated, so try to get these out of the way as soon as you see them so you don't accidentally set one off during combat. Use a rope coil or hook to get above the cactus before setting it off, as it might roll in your direction. And keep in mind that rolling cacti can set off Antlion Larva.
Once the Eater of Worlds or the Brain of Cthulhu have been defeated, the player can use the Nightmare or Deathbringer Pickaxes to mine the Desert Fossils, which are the only source of Sturdy Fossil when using the Extractinator. This material is used for Fossil armor and Bone Throwing Weapons, which are very helpful for the Thrower class. On the Desktop version,Desert Fossils can be mined with any pickaxe and explosives, and are an effective weapon for the Ranged class.
Like every other biome in Hardmode, the Desert becomes a lot more dangerous once it is activated. It is also one of the biomes that can be affected by the spread of the Corruption/Crimson and the Hallow, which give special properties and drops to some of the new enemies spawned.
The Desert can be very tough when starting Hardmode, so it is recommended to be very well equipped before going in.
A Summoner should use the Spider armor instead, as the ore armors don't give any improvements to minions.
- For Melee users
- A Mythril or Orichalcum Sword or Halberd is the bare minimum. The Bladetongue or Cutlass are stronger swords with much better stats.
- The Amarok or Ice Sickle can be easily obtained by grinding in the Snow biome.
- The Hel-Fire can be obtained from enemies in the Caverns.
- The Shadowflame Knife is a very good weapon that is obtained from Goblin Summoners in a Hardmode Goblin Army.
- The Chain Guillotines have decent range, damage and attack speed.
- The Fetid Baghnakhs are a riskier but extremely powerful weapon.
- For Ranger users
- The Mythril or Orichalcum Repeater are easy to obtain and very strong when paired with Holy or Ichor Arrows. The Shadowflame Bow from the Hardmode Goblin Army is also very good.
- The Shotgun and Clockwork Assault Rifle are the best guns available. The former should be upgraded to the Onyx Blaster once enough Dark Shards are obtained. Crystal Bullets are the strongest choice.
- The Dart Rifle or Pistol are great with Crystal, Cursed or Ichor Darts.
- For Mages
- The Crystal Serpent and Meteor Staff are very strong weapons that can be easily obtained as soon as Hardmode begins.
- The Shadowflame Hex Doll is a very strong weapon as well, dropped by the Goblin Summoner.
- The Nimbus Rod can kill enemies from a safe distance, as well as being a good secondary weapon.
- Cursed Flames or Golden Shower are decent for crowd control.
- For Summoners
- The Spider Staff and Queen Spider Staff are the best minions available at this point in the game.
- On the Desktop version, player can also obtain the Blade Staff fromEnchanted Swords, Sanguine Staff from theDreadnautilusand Whips
- Combat accessories such as the class Emblems or the Magic Quiver will kill enemies much faster.
- Mobility accessories like Wings, Bundle of Balloons, Frog Leg and/or the Shield of Cthulhu should be brought for mobility.
- Defensive accessories like the Worm Scarf or Charm of Myths are very useful as well.
|AI Type||Sand Elemental AI|
6088132 (Ancient Storm)
|KB Resist||95%/96% (when >50% health)|
100% (when ≤50% health)
|Banner||Sand Elemental Banner|
- Internal NPC ID: 541
When sandstorms are not present, the only new enemy seen on the surface will be the Mummies. They are slow and easy to avoid, however they get much faster at half health. If the surface Desert was infected by the Corruption/Crimson or Hallow biomes, Dark Mummies, Blood Mummies or Light Mummies will spawn instead. These variants are stronger and drop Dark or Light Shards, which can be used to make very strong weapons.
In the Underground Desert, many new enemies will be seen:
- Lamias are grounded enemies, and they are much faster and stronger than Mummies. They rarely drop a piece of their Vanity set when killed.
- Sand Poachers have the ability to climb walls, making it much faster than usual. Given that the entirety of the Underground Desert is covered with walls, the player should always be cautious. They inflict the Venom debuff on contact.
- Ghouls are a weaker enemy, but their stats and design change when the Desert is infected: Dreamer Ghouls from the Hallow will always Confuse on hit, while the Vile Ghoul or Tainted Ghoul from the Corruption or Crimson will always inflict Cursed Inferno or Ichor, respectively. They drop Ancient Cloth when killed, and either Light or Dark Shards if killing their Hallowed or Corrupted variants.
- Basilisks are essentially a Hardmode version of Antlion Chargers, as they behave identically and have very high knockback resistance. They have a chance to drop the Ancient Horn when killed.
- Dune Splicers are the Hardmode version of Tomb Crawlers. They are significantly bigger than other worm enemies, and they are much more aggressive as well. Despite their high stats, they can easily be killed with piercing or exploding weapons.
- Desert Spirits can appear in Crimson or Corrupted Desert. They will cast a slow projectile that attempts to home in to the player, and then explode after a short time. It rarely drops the Desert Spirit Lamp used for the Spirit Flame, as well as the Vanity Djinn's Curse.
- Sand Sharks have the ability to "Swim" through sand blocks, and will quickly lunge at nearby players. They are very common, aggressive and have very high stats, so they can easily kill a player. However they cannot jump very high, so a platform above ground will make them much easier to deal with.
- The Sand Elemental is a miniboss enemy. It only attacks by summoning three Ancient Storms randomly around the general location of the player. When killed, it drops Forbidden Fragments used for Forbidden Armor.
While the Sand Elemental's attacks can be easily predicted and dodged, they will limit movement, making the common Sand Sharks and Dune Splicers much harder to avoid. It is recommended to make a platform above ground, as then the Dune Splicers and Sand Sharks won't be able to jump high enough as to reach the player, so the Sand Elemental can be killed much more easily.